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No title.
(2013-01-29 - 2013-02-01)
No description.
TRON To think this all started with an innocent statement. A comparison to a knight with white magic, a reference to a world TRON does not know.

He has little knowledge of Userspace in any incarnation, the likes of Manhattan and Traverse Town being the extent of it. But he has seen the World of Ruin at a glance, passing through once to help allies and comrades in their own searches, and it has sparked a measure of curiousity. Different races, different concepts, the origin of magic (as far as he can tell)... and there was Avira's offer to take him to a city and show him.

Well, why not?

So, here he is, weaving through the crowded stalls in the Merchant Quarter, sometimes pausing as something or another catches his attention. He is still wearing a battered-looking hooded cloak and using a long wooden staff as a walking stick, mainly to hide his true nature. He does not wish to attract more attention than he must.
Avira Fortunately, TRON is not alone! The very person that had made this comparison volunteered to accompany him. After all, Avira had noted that the User world was very chaotic and disorderly compared to that of programs. As a fellow member of VALKYRI, obviously she had to give TRON a hand in navigating the no doubt confusing and illogical World of Ruin.

Despite bad blood with Rabanastre in the past that wound up driving her old clan clean out of the city, Avira has no reason to fear coming here. According to Gabranth, the charges against her were gone. The city guard would not treat her as a criminal. Unless something wildly off base happened, there would be no problems, right?

"There's certainly plenty to look at, no?" she murmurs to TRON. "Though based on licensing laws here, I should probably do the paying."
TRON TRON emits a low hum of agreement. "Yes, so it seems." He hesitates at yet another booth, hooded eyes scanning over trinkets lying on the table's surface. No, still nothing interesting there.

He pulls back out of the throng of prospective buyers, pressing his back against a wall, and emits a long sigh. He still isn't used to the concept of crowds and it's very... overwhelming. "I will do my best to keep prices low, then," he replies to Avira concerning the payment issue. She's doing him a favor coming out here with him, so it's the least he can do. He'll probably be able to pay her back once they return to VALKYRI HQ. "However, I doubt wandering like this is very efficient. Is there a specific location we can go to for what I'm looking for?"

He surveys the crowd, noting the different races and apparent jobs by the state and manner of their armor. He will let Avira lead from this point. "You also mentioned something about Jobs in this world? Like a 'knight'?"
Avira Being secretly from New York City, giant crowds do not phase Avira in the least. She's able to navigate them with ease, pushing her way through and using her tiny size to her advantage. Though at many points she does notice that she's seem to lost her shopping buddy, only to find him retreated with his back against the wall. "Oh yes." Avira says cheerfully, reaching through the crowd to grasp him by one of his hands and cheerfully pull him along.

"There's an official shop here that specializes in nothing but armor. Here, this way-" she's suddenly dragging him through a very skinny alleyway. "Yes! Jobs! Or classes as they're called in some parts. It's sort of a title a person gets when they learn a particular combat skillset. Like being an electrician or a plumber, only more fighty. For example, you have white mage."

They pop out of the alley and Avira gestures ahead of her to a viera clothed in a white hooded robe. There are red triangles around the hem of the hood. "White mages specialize in white magic. Which is healing for the most part but there are some kind of damaging spells. Knights specialize in swordsmanship and defending other people."

Avira pushes her way into a store, which is much less crowded than the busy marketplace. Inside are stacks and stacks of armor piled everywhere. Wooden dummies hold full sets of platemail. Helmets line countertops. Looking upwards, TRON will see that there's a second floor with even MORE armor on display.
TRON TRON is led by the hand through the crowded streets and alleyways by the smaller, more confident Avira. Perhaps most would feel their pride be stung a bit--for the Security Program, it is a welcome relief.

He nods slowly, committing the image of the White Mage to memory as well as the explaination to World of Ruin jobs and/or classes. "I think I understand, yes. So 'jobs' or 'classes' are determined by one's own skills and abilities. Can you change your job at any point after it has been decided?"

It's only when they actually enter the store does TRON reclaim his hand, for a moment distracted by the armor on display everywhere. He pulls his hood back to expose his head and his brow furrows in thought, as if trying to figure out where to start first. Thankfully, it's more quiet here at least, if only compared to the bazaar.

He wanders over to the platemail first, seeming more interested in range of motion than actual defensive measures by the way he tests the moving parts.
Avira Naturally, TRON will find that platemail offers the least range of motion. Or he will when he starts poking around at the other types of armor in the store. It seems the plate is available in several different 'ranges' from constrictive and fancy to much lighter.

"You can change. You can also multi-class though it seems most people have trouble mastering the skills of more than two jobs. Me, I'm not one for limiting myself but I don't think I can be considered having mastered anything yet."

As they chat, the shopkeeper, a plump-looking Bangaa, wanders over to them. "Sssssomething I can help you with?" he cheerfully interjects.

"Oh, my friend here is just starting out." Avira explains. "Just showin' him what's available."
TRON TRON shakes his head at the thought. "Where I come from, you are..." He pauses, thinking carefully about the proper Userspace term, "...'born' already knowing your purpose and already possessing the skills needed to fulfill it. It's not often that it changes, and it's never by your own choice if or when it does."

He gives up on that set of platemail, finding it far too constrictive for his likes, and bows his head respectfully as the bangaa approaches them. "I am looking for armor that provides very good range of motion, sir, but durable enough to endure as much as possible. Do you have any suggestions?"
Avira Avira nods slowly, "Yeah...given what I know about Programs." Computer programs of the, what Avira believes, are non-sentinent variety, of course. "Makes a lot of sense. Humes aren't really born with skills...well beyond basic functions like breathing and converting food into energy via biological processes." She pauses, "...though that reminds me, I meant to ask at the party the other day. Do Programs eat?" They have to do something because programs need energy to run!

"Hrrrrm." The Bangaa hums. "Well since yer just startin' out, you're already a little limited in how heavy your armor can be. Fortunately, the leather armors do give good mobility." The shopkeeper guides TRON away from the plate mail examples, gesturing at various leather armor on display. It's considerably less thin than full plate, but very flexible. Some of them are a bit thicker or even studded with metal for extra protection.
TRON TRON inclines his head in thanks to the shopkeeper and heads over there, running one black leather-gloved hand over the material. He rests his staff against the nearby wall and picks up a glove and tries to pull it on. It takes a moment to realize it doesn't fit and he has to switch to a larger size before being able to flex his fingers and wrist.

He chuckles softly at Avira's question. "In my home world, we sustain ourselves on liquid energy--Grid Energy, as we call it. Out here, in your world, we can eat and drink but it isn't required as often as you seem to need it." He frowns a bit, tapping at the surface of the gauntlet with his knuckles as if testing something. "I'm not certain how it works, but it does." Some things are beyond explaination, perhaps?

He picks up the staff, testing his grip with the gauntlet, and twirls his staff between his fingers--being quite careful to not accidentally hit something. No need to rack the bill up higher than nessisary, after all. It doesn't feel /bad/, but not quite /right/ either. Something about simple padded animal leather being all between himself and an enemy weapon doesn't sit right with him, despite having never actually used armor before, not even in the Games.

"Storekeeper, is there leather armor like this," he removes the gauntlet and puts it back, "but with metal plates woven into it in non-joint areas, such as the forearm or shin? Or is that beyond the armor limitation you mentioned?"
Avira The shopkeeper seems to remain nearby, either to help or to keep an eye on the pair so they don't swipe anything. Likely both. That scarred one looked a little shady.

TRON patiently explains grid energy to Avira and the woman's mind immediately starts to wonder what it tastes lile. "More than three times a day, you mean?" she says, referring to eating.

Avira puts a hand to her mouth as TRON starts tapping the glove, expecting it to do something. "Oh, it doesn't really work like that. This is just normal armor. You wear it and the layers protect you from some damage." That's probably not very reassuring. Avira seems to put some faith in it, if her own outfit is any indication.

"Oh no, we certainly have that. It'll run you a bit more expensive, of course." He says, moving to a completely different shelf in the shop, motioning for TRON to follow. Breast plates, shingear, and gauntlets are present here in various hybrids of plates and leather.

"Metalworking is a bit more tricky than leatherworking." Avira agrees, following after TRON.
TRON TRON nods. "I find my... 'appetite'--is that the right word?--only requires eating once a day, perhaps twice if I am injured."

He headtilts slightly at Avira, almost not realizing what she was trying to keep from laughing at. When he follows her gaze, however, he can't help but smile as well as the reason dawns on him. "Oh! I was testing how much I could feel through the armor of even small impacts, Avira. I am... familiar with armor. The MCP's guards wear armor, but most Programs do not," his gaze grows distant for an instant, "not even in the Games."

He follows the storekeeper to the other shelves, looking mildly chagrined at the prospect of making Avira spend more money due to his lack of confidence in straight leather armor. "My apologies then." Well, while he's here, he might as well figure out the difference. He picks up another gauntlet, this one with a smooth piece of metal over the back of the hand and top of the forearm, and tries it on.
Avira "Sure, let's call it that. Without satisfying that appetite, you shut down! For Humes, they tend to get a little cranky too. Eating extra doesn't seem to help that much in the realm of healing damage from sources." Depending on the world at least. Some really do have food as a major healng source.

A sigh escapes Avira when it becomes clear that he's not taking her to task for her barely suppressed laughter. "Games?"

True to Gabranths' promise, her presence does not attracted bad attention from guards here. Good thing too because one does briefly pop in, demanding the shopkeepers attention for a few moments. Avira ignores this and continues looking at other armor. "Well, whichever you pick, make sure it's not too heavy. Sure, the metal plates do help with defense but it also kind of cancels out the benefits of the leather armor. That being it's a lot more lightweight."
TRON TRON nods slowly at her advice about eating. That explains much. "I will certainly keep that in mind. Perhaps it'll help."

He flexes his hand in the new gauntlet, testing the joints and the weight. "Weight is not an issue for me. I've found evidence that Programs do not have the same physical limitations as Us--" Pause, annoyed huff, retry, "humans." He cants his head at her. "I assume 'Humes' is another name for humans?"

He picks up his staff in his gauntleted hand, twirling it between his fingers once more. Yes, this feels better. "The Games, yes." His gaze grows distant, his hand almost automatically stopping the twirling and holding the dense wood tightly in his gauntleted hand. "It is where Master Control--the system Administrator--sends arrested Programs for imprisonment and punishment, if it had no use for them otherwise."

He pauses for a moment, searching his memory for a contemporary Avira would be familiar with. "It is... similar, in a sense, to the Coluseum in Traverse Town. Except the Games have varying events, and all of them played with your existance on the line." He pulls the matching gauntlet onto his other hand. "You either win, or you derez--die--trying. Most don't make it more than one or two wins, if that." His eyes close for a moment, his staff shifting to be held in both hands. "I suppose I was... 'lucky'."
Avira "Humes is the local term for humans. It's what the other races call us here." she nods her head towards the shopkeeper, who is still occupied by the guard. The guard, much like the others TRON has spotted in this city, is in full plate with no visible face showing. "Our Shopkeeper is called a baanga by the way. Wait-" TRON's words finally sink in. "Weight is not an issue for Programs?"

She leans over and pokes one of TRON's arms right in the muscle. "Iiiiinteresting."

At last, Avira is elucidated on the concept of Games, which she's heard Deelel namecheck before but never really understood.

As he speaks, confusion settles over her face. Avira turns away and looks through the armor, picking out a leather and metal plate breastplate. "I don't understand, TRON. Why would you, a recovery Program, be put through the games? You're not a criminal or anything."
TRON TRON flinches at Avira's poking of his arm, startled out of his thoughts. The muscle /feels/ real, 'leather' bodysuit notwithstanding. But if one stops to think about it, TRON has not physically changed at all since they've met--no weight gain/loss, no differences in height, his hair is never messed up nor seems to need tending to, not even a five-o-clock shadow.

He pulls off the battered cloak and sets it aside along with his staff, fully exposing his black 'leather' body-suit. No circuitry lines or dots are visible, only enhancing the assumption about the material used. He avoids replying to Avira immediately, instead walking back over to the table of pure leather armor and grabbing a pair of pants padded at the thigh.

"It wasn't about what I had done. It was what was planned for me." Even his voice sounds distant as he pulls the pants on. "I was a Security Program responsible for a sector in my world, like a... police officer in charge of a district. My User, Alan-One, was going to upgrade and promote me to System Monitor--I would be able to monitor the whole world, even above Master Control himself, and respond to any threat accordingly."

He turns back to Avira, accepting the chestplate and struggling with the straps as he tries to put it on. "Master Control invaded my sector and locked Alan-One out of the system. I was arrested for," he spits out the charges, "'User belief' and 'subverting the Administrator's authority'." His frustration seems to spill over as he fights with the chestplate, trying to hold it in place while at the same time attempting to buckle it and failing both. He isn't damaging anything, but he's certainly not making any progress.

"I was thrown into the Games and quarantined there, away from Alan-One and Yori, prevented from fulfilling my purpose."
Avira This would be the first time Avira's ever stopped to think about TRON's grooming habits. As a living inorganic person, TRON was pretty fascinating all around. Strange that, to her finger, he certainly felt real enough. "Heh, that is a problem that humes have." Maybe other species too. Avira has yet to see, say, a fat viera.

Watching TRON carefully, she notices his suit is not glowing as she's seen it do before. About to hand over the piece of armor she's picked up, TRON heads over to select his own.

She passes the armor and listens with curiosity. User...upgrade? TRON's programmer, then! "So you would have been upgraded to have more power and control than the Master Control." she remarks in understanding.

As he starts to struggle, Avira actually moves over to wordlessly offer her help, showing with her hands the easiest way to slip the armor on over his head. She's not at all deterred by the Program's frustration.

"Now what kind of charge is 'User belief'? I can understand the other one well enough." She pauses, taking note of another name she doesn't recognize, but she doesn't ask about Yori. Not yet.
TRON TRON ceases struggling when Avira moves to help him out with the chestplate. "To a Program, our User is akin to a god. They direct, we follow. They can alter us, even delete us, and there's no recourse for us. The Users can be terribly cruel, but it is out of ignorance--we cannot communicate with them like I am talking with you now. Is it cruelty to toys if you break one yet never knew that it had a life of its own?"

He emits a low sigh, trying to force himself to relax despite the conversation. "I believe Master Control was trying to break such a mindset. He claimed many things about Users, trying to discredit them, pointing out all their wrongs while neglecting the good. Whatever the reason, it didn't matter if you acknowledged Users as gods or simply as creators--if you believed they existed at all, you were arrested."

He noticeably flinches as the armor settles over his shoulders and compresses his Discs into his upper back, even before anything is tightened. It's... quite uncomfortably painful, actually. "I don't think this piece will work."
Avira Avira actually fumbles with the armor a little shortly after TRON speaks, the realization of just how much a Program's existance hinges upon their programmer. Sure, it makes sense from a purely mechanical perspective. Nobody thinks too hard about deleting a file or a program, right? They aren't alive. But TRON is alive. "It..." she hesitates, bringing her hands back to the armor.

Avira lets out a low whistle, finishing her work. "But that seems so illogical for a Program to accept. At the same makes sense that a Program would seek, actualization one day."

TRON admits that he isn't feeling the breastplate. "Oh, well then-" she looks at the Identity Disc on TRON's back. "Hmm. Maybe something that just covers the shoulders and front, then."

She gives the shopkeeper a meaningful look and the bangaa scrambles to look through his wares.

"You say the Master Control program is out in the world like you are. Now what, though? What about his belief?"
TRON TRON carefully pulls the full leather-and-metal breastplate up and over his head, setting it back down on the table where Avira had found it. He rolls his shoulders, stretching the kinks out where the silver Disc had pressed into his form. There are no marks, but even humans occassionally sustain injuries that leave no marks but still hurt.

"Master Control does walk amongst the Users, yes. From my contact with him, he does not deny the existance of Users, only their divinity. And I think something happened that set him against the Users, perhaps an improper repurposing--reprogramming--either before or after he was set as Administrator." He shrugs. "He appears to be dealing with a directive loop he cannot break out of. Like CHIEF, only not as explosive."

He searches the boots, finding a pair that is primarily knee-high leather boots with metal integrated over the shins and a loose sectioned piece covering the top of the foot. It matches with his gloves, if nothing else.

"In fact, Master Control is already known in Traverse Town." He takes a seat on a stool, pulling on the boots one at a time. "You may know him as SARGON, Traverse Town mayoral candidate and commander of Datapoint Security."
Avira TRON is next passed a different breastplate-this one much shorter than the most, only enough to cover the chest region where a heart would be. This piece is attached to larger shoulder armor and it appears there are places to attach a cape to in the back. Unlike the last breastplate, there are no straps on the back.

"That must be frustrating." Avira remarks, stepping back. This piece of armor likely didn't need another person to help installing.

Avira folds her arms over her chest. "That bothers me. What kind of things does he expect to do with that kind of political power." More importantly, is Avira going to have to vote for A LLAMA to keep this guy out of office?! "Especially if he's so..anti-User."
TRON TRON examines the chestpiece more closely this time as it's handed to him. It already looks better than the last option, and may provide better mobility to boot. "I don't know. He is playing a game I have no understanding of, and he's two steps ahead of me." He unbuckles the shoulder and slips on the chest piece first, then rebuckles the shoulder piece into its place as well.

He gets up, shifting his weight on his legs and stretching for a few moments to get a better feel of the armor thus far. "I can't directly interfere with his campaign, nor can I confront him. I know enough that it will only backfire on me, since he has put Traverse Town's safety first and I have no proof other than my own word."

He unhooks his Disc, keeping it deactivated but testing some stances to further try out the mobility of what he currently wears. Yes, this definitely feels better. "But you and the rest of VALKYRI need to know--have needed to know for some time, in truth. Perhaps I should have voiced my suspicions earlier, before the ill-fated election night when SARGON showed his hand against CHIEF." He bows his head as he anchors his Disc back into place. "But I couldn't in good conscience tell you everything, not until I had a better understanding myself. I am sorry for that."
Avira "Considering what you've experienced because of him, I'm going to remain...wary about his intentions." Avira states, stepping back to watch TRON put on the armor.

What's worse, as TRON aptly points out, is 'SARGON' currently cannot be confronted. Taking her mind off this for a moment, she asks about the armor, "How's that working out for you? You seem a lot less uncomfortable."

Avira puts her hands on her hips. "That incident with CHIEF made SARGON look awfully good in the eyes of Traverse Town too. But now what?" Seems she's not too irritated by the truth being hidden from her-or at least she's good at not showing it. "Accusing him of being anti-User publically would be ignored at the best."
TRON TRON nods slowly. Users are so hard to read sometimes if they are attempting redirection. "Master Control has placed himself very well for the time being. My best guess is he won't make his next move until the election has been resolved. Time means nothing for Programs, after all--and all he needs to do for now is wait."

He crosses his arms over his chest, tapping his fingers on his biceps thoughtfully. "Perhaps we should do the same. Wait and watch, gather as much information as we can, and prepare to move when he does." He chuckles dryly despite himself. "Thankfully, he finds the chaos of Users and their varied worlds just as confusing as every other Program thus far, including myself. So he is hardly perfect or infallible."

He meanders to the helms, scanning over the various designs, seeming to be searching for a particular style. "The armor feels... right, I suppose is the correct term. Almost familiar to the point of forgetting their presence. I'm guessing this is a good thing?"
Avira "Should he win the electon, at least, but..." she narrows her eyes, "I don't doubt that he has some sort of back-up plan if that doesn't happen." A Program's thoughts are far ordered than a human' one would likely account for several different outcomes, wouldn't they? "I agree. For now, all we can do is wait and watch. Unless someone can get him to talk."

She smirks. Maybe some good ol' User chaos would confound him in the future. "Maybe he and LEXUS ought to have it out next."

His comments on the armor bring a smile to her face. "That's a good sign. Good armor you forget you're wearing." She rubs her chin with her hand, "And it looks pretty good on you, TRON. You look one step closer to a Knight class."
TRON TRON nods once. "I agree. Master Control has likely already planned for multiple contingencies. Perhaps even taking into account any action I could take against him. And I've already tried getting him to spill his plans--he walked circles around me and still kept me in the dark." He offers Avira a mischievously boyish grin, eyes twinkling in silent mirth. "But Users, however, might be a different matter. I have taken great pains in concealing my connection to VALKYRI."

He finally finds the helmet he's looking for--a helm designed similarly to a Roman Centurion helmet minus the ridiculous crest. As he slips it on over his head and connects the chinstrap to keep it in place, he catches his own reflection on a nearby mirror. The sight gives him pause, a memory of his original appearance--his true appearance in the Grid--superimposing itself over his reflection.

Ah. /THAT/ is why it feels familiar.

"...Yes... I suppose so." He shakes his head to get rid of that image, picking up his battered cloak and studying it. Could he make a cape out of it yet still keep it useable as a sand-blocking cover? He'd hate to get rid of it when it's served him quite well so far. "Do Knights use throwing weapons and a staff or spear? Those are weapons I am best with."
Avira "Hmmm. Then it's probably best that he doesn't learn of our...affiliation anytime soon. We could provide the element of surprise." Avira smirks. "Also he would think that you are less of a threat if it was just you opposing him alone. Well..." she looks thoughtful again, "I assume Deelel is helping you in some way too."

She drums her fingers against her leather belts, watching TRON procure himself the helmet. That shopkeeper, meanwhile, looks pretty giddy since he figures he has a SALE or two in his future.

"Aaaactually..." Avira drawls, "They usually are known for wielding swords, but spears are not out of the question. Dragoons are more well known for spears but those guys are a bit more of an advanced class."
TRON TRON chuckles as he elects to simply connect the cloak to his shoulders like a cape, letting the hood hang free for later. It keeps it out of the way for now, at least. "Indeed, Deelel is a comrade of mine and has been a great help. I believe she has found comrades in the Shard Seekers, as well."

He picks up his staff and slings it over his shoulders, resting his wrists over the top of the wooden surface. "Hmm. Seems I'm not easily classified." He smiles amusedly. "Or it gives me something to work towards." It seems as though he's content with what he has with the armor, unless Avira spots something he's missing.
Avira Avira headtilts as the cloak is draped over TRON's shoulders. Maybe one day she should sneak TRON a real cape as a present? She files away this idea for later. "Wait, she has? Officially with the Shard Seekers? Huh. I didn't know that." Darn /Shard Seekers/.

"Variety is the spice of life~" She looks TRON over with a critical eye, taking inventory of all the armors he's selected. He seemed pretty set for now, so Avira turns to the shopkeeper and nods. "We'll take it all."

Before she even finishes the sentence, Avira's given a number. The man was clearly waiting for this.
TRON TRON smiles faintly. "I believe so, yes." He then remembers that Shard Seekers and VALKYRI technically have a (usually 'friendly') rivalry. "I doubt that would prevent her from helping us if we need it, though, especially against the MCP and his forces."

The shopkeeper's statement of the price promptly reminds him that he is on Avira's dime, technically speaking, and his smile fades entirely. Well, he should have enough to pay her back as soon as they return to VALKYRI HQ, considering he has some Munny stashed away from his work in protecting Traverse Town.

Doesn't keep him from feeling more than a bit guilty, though.
Avira Usually friendly indeed. Unless Ivo decides to push it a little too hard, then Avira is all about the unfriendly.

A smile forms upon Avira's face, "Good, any more helping against this issue, the better." She's still smiling, even though she's about to drop a good mount of munny (magically changed into gil here) on this armor. The clink of her changepurse is heard as she pulls it from one of her belt pouches and starts producing some coinage.

The Shopkeeper is all too happy to pocket that money. As he turns away, he gives TRON a hearty slap on the back. "Enjoy the merchandise!" he exclaims before he waddles off.

Avira heads for the door. "C'mon. We can worry about weapons later. If you're happy with what you've got, there's no sense in changing it anyway!"
TRON TRON barely moves at the slap on the back, a faint ringing from his Discs echoing for second or two at the relatively light impact, and raises an eyebrow amusedly at the bangaa shopkeeper as he waddles off. Such strange beings the User world has sometimes...

He lowers his staff from his shoulders, once again using it as a walking stick as he follows Avira out of the store. "True enough. This staff served me well against the Heartless in that cyclonic canyon. I believe the term 'do not fix what is not broken' is also appropriate."

He pauses just outside the store, blinking against the sudden change in lighting. "Avira..." His expression softens slightly, grateful yet still mildly guilty. "Thank you."
Avira The contact could be considered negligable and there is zero threat to his Identity Disc from the shopkeeper. All too soon, their host has wandered off, leaving them behind.

"Fair enough." Avira laughs, happy to avoid havin to teach language.

Smiling, Avira leasn over and winks at TRON. "Don't worry about it. I'm sure you'll 'pay me back' somehow."

This scene contained 32 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, TRON